The College Influence on Student Character: An Exploratory Study in Selected Colleges and Universities Made for the Committee for the Study of Character Development in Education

By Edward D. Eddy Jr.; Mary Louise Parkhurst et al. | Go to book overview

1. Character in the Colleges

THIS REPORT is the result of visits, extending over a period of one year, to twenty American colleges and universities. It is an attempt to describe and delineate character influences and programs as they were reported to us by students and members of the faculty and as we observed them. Because the purpose and the method of the study condition what is reported, we will attempt to describe briefly what we tried to do and how we tried to do it.


The Aim of the Study

Technological advances in the last half century have brought a special responsibility to American colleges and universities. The nation is dependent on them for a ready supply of competently trained men and women. But the task of the colleges1 is not that simple. To skill must be added wisdom. The colleges are asked to furnish men and women capable of making decisions on which may rest the fate of millions of people throughout the world and capable of leading lives which set a worthy example for all men.

Our study was conceived and carried forth in the hope that we might be able to identify some of the ways by which the col- leges can fulfill their obligation to this greater task. Though the contributions of higher education have been substantial, there is reason to feel that the student in pursuit of a degree and the col- lege wrapped in its own day-to-day operation may have failed to capitalize adequately on the great potential in both youth and higher learning. We wanted to explore the relationship between intellectual training and character influence; to determine how

____________________
1
For ease of expression, the term "colleges" will be used in place of "col- leges and universities" where reference is made to both types of institutions.

-1-

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